Supreme Court rules that Uber drivers are 'workers' not independent contractors

19 February 2021


  • The Supreme Court has this morning (19 February 2021) handed down its decision in Uber v Aslam [2021] UKSC 5, reaching the conclusion, as earlier courts did, that Uber drivers are ‘workers’ rather than self-employed contractors.
  • The outcome of the case, which will have wider implications for the gig economy, means that Uber drivers will be entitled to minimum wage, holiday and sick pay, and rest breaks.
  • The claims for minimum wage will include backpay, with claims being based upon their entire working day not only during periods when they were actually driving passengers to their destinations.
  • They will also be able to claim 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave per year. 
  • This judgement does not however entitle the workers to ‘employee’ rights, such as the right to claim unfair dismissal.

See the full judgement here.

Aspire Comment:

This ruling will have massive implications on the gig economy, confirming that gig economy workers may be entitled to the same rights as other workers. The decision should act as a warning to companies that a smokescreen of self-employment cannot be used to deny workers’ rights.

The ruling makes it clear that there is no legal presumption that a contractual document represents the parties’ true agreement, just because an individual has signed it. This demonstrates the importance of businesses having the correct contractual documentation and checks in place and to ensure that workers’ employment status is correctly categorised.   If you would like to us arrange an audit of your contractual documentation and the reality of your engagement methods to minimise the risk of potential Tribunal claims, get in touch.